Mini documentary discusses importance of Sailor Moon for 90s LGBTQ kids

Anime News Network:

Sailor Moon holds a unique place in the anime fandom as a common entry point for many 90s kids and introducing queer characters to children’s television.

Fan communities filled in the gaps for censored American version. Fans attracted to a show focusing on strong female friendship, romance, and super powers could turn to the internet and find what was missing, including the truth about the show’s characters.

In the latest episode of Vice’s American Obsession mini-documentary series, viewers can learn about some of the influence Sailor Moon had on LGBTQ+ kids growing up in the 90s. The documentary interviews cosplayers at last year’s Anime ExpoViz Media‘s Charlene Igram, and other fans of the anime series.

Anna Sui jumps into the world of Sailor Moon fashion with necklaces, earrings, and bags

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RockeyNews 24:

Tokyo’s Isetan is welcoming back Sailor Moon and her magical gal pals. From now until March 31, the department store chain’s Shinjuku branch is offering a special lineup of fashion items based on the hit anime. Previously, we’ve looked at the new offerings from Samantha Vega, Honey Bunch, and Riccimie Premiere Salon, all popular Japanese brands.

Now, Anna Sui is getting in on the moon prism action, with a selection of coolly feminine bags and accessories inspired by the Sailor Senshi.

In contrast to the bright pastels of Samantha Vega’s Sailor Moon collection, Anna Sui’s aims for a more mature allure. The front of the 21,000 yen (US$176) compact head necklace takes the lines of Sailor Moon’s Crystal Star, but recolors them in the trademark Anna Sui purple, with the designer’s name appearing on the back. Similarly, the Key of Space-Time necklace (16,000 yen) has an ornate, almost gothic look to it.

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Even though Sailor Moon is the star, she’s hardly the only popular character from the franchise. If you’ve got a soft spot for other members of the ensemble cast, you can show them some love with these 18,500-yen Luna and Artemis earrings (featuring black cat Luna on the front and white kitty Artemis on the back) or the 21,000-yen pearl catch earrings, featuring the image colors and celestial symbols for Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.

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Your wrists won’t have to feel left out either, with the 19,000-yen ribbon bracelet and its charms shaped like the Crisis Moon Compact and Inner Senshi celestial marks. Rounding off the wearables, the 12,000-yen Anna Sui Sailor Moon logo T-shirt provides perhaps the biggest sticker shock of the lineup, while the set of five clear files for 1,600 yen is the most budget-friendly option.

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Of course, unless you have Sailor Moon-style magical powers that allow you to summon whatever special items you need out of thin air, you probably require something in your daily life with more carrying capacity than the files provide. Once again, Anna Sui has the answer, or actually two, with these leather bags adorned with celestial mark charms, the smaller of which (pictured on the right) is priced at 32,000 yen.

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Not only will they hold your wallet, keys, and phone, there should also be some space left over in case you find something else you just have to have while shopping at Isetan.

Shop information
Sailor Moon X Isetan Shop
Address:
Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-14-1
Isetan Shinjuku Main Building 3rd floor Center Park Stage #3
東京都新宿区新宿3−14−1
伊勢丹新宿店本館3階 センターパークステージ#3
Open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Website

Japanese anime-inspired patterned clothing on sale as part of H&M’s new spring lineup

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RocketNews 24:

Check out H&M’s spring 2015 fashion line, which includes some adorable Japan and anime-inspired prints.

The Swedish clothing giant’s new spring offerings include a handful of items designed in an adorable, colorful ‘Akihabara style’!

While we don’t have specific availability information for different regions, a quick browse through the new arrivals section of H&M’s US website revealed that at least one of the items can be found in both US and Japanese H&M stores, one seems to be exclusive to the US, and the rest are exclusive to Japan.

Here are all five of the Japan-themed spring clothing items we could find after perusing the official websites:

1. Patterned sweatshirt: Anime girl sailor uniform style

This colorful sweatshirt is decorated with the image of a cute anime-style girl wearing a sailor uniform. Her long, pink hair and overall design seems to channel the character Hinagiku Katsura from Hayate the Combat Butler.

Price: Japan 1,990 yen/America US$24.95

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2. Patterned leggings: Anime girl sailor uniform style

If you’re buying the sweatshirt, why not go all out and get some leggings to match? There’s no such thing as too much moe, after all.

Price: Japan 1,490 yen ($12.28)

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3. Jersey short top: Sushi 

Here’s a perfect addition to the closet of any sushi-loving lady. By the way, the Japanese word kawaii (“cute”) is scribbled in pink across the whimsical raw fish design.

Price: Japan 1,190 yen ($9.80)

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4. Jersey short top: Anime sailor uniform style

This one is undeniably based on a simple anime-style sailor uniform design. Better yet, pair this shirt with one of countless Sailor Moon-themed accessories for the full effect!

Price: Japan 1,190 yen ($9.80)

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5. Printed knit sweater: “Kawaii Cutie”

Finally, we have this bright pink and fluffy sweater which will make you want to scream kawaii (quite literally, in fact). Don’t be alarmed if you start shedding pink threads of kawaiiness all over the floor…

Price: America $24.95 (3,029 yen)

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Cute animals in powered exoskeletons: 6 wondrous items from the 2015 Wonder Festival (Japan)

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RocketNews 24:

The latest edition of Japan’s bi-annual Wonder Festival brought out both male and female cosplayers, plus Sailor Moon figurines, which are well-known stalwarts of any good event celebrating anime and the creative arts. But what about the actual handmade models that put the wonder into the festival?

Amateur hobbyists converge at the event to display and sell unique goods, resulting in an array of never-before-seen models and items that can’t be found anywhere else. From ramen kewpie dolls to seductive vegetables, we’ve got photos of the most imaginative and eye-popping goods you’ll see this season.

Sylvanian Families powered up in exoskeletons

These little guys are a great introduction to the creative, no-holds-barred, mixed influence nature of the show. The cute, furry animal characters won’t put up with any funny business in these outfits.

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▼ 2,000 yen (US$16.84) for an exoskeleton set? You won’t find these sets at your local toy store.

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Ramen Kewpie Dolls

Incredibly popular in Japan, cherub-faced Kewpie Dolls are always up for a bit of creative cosplay, having appeared in the past as fish roe, balls of algae and all manner of fruit and vegetables. Popping up in a bowl of ramen, however, complete with cascading locks of noodles, is a surprising scenario, even for this character.

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Relive memories from long-lost amusement parks

The model kits at the Yukinonz stand might look ordinary, if not a little amateurish, to the untrained eye. Nostalgic hobbyists, however, would see this as a unique chance to breathe life back into old fun parks which have sadly disappeared or fallen into disrepair.

Nara Dreamland once shuttled happy passengers around the park in a shiny, three-carriage monorail. Today, it sits lifeless amongst dilapidated buildings, visited only by curious haikyoists, or urban explorers.

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▼ The submarine is another abandoned monument from Nara Dreamland.

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Takarazuka Family Land once had a glorious ropeway in operation. Sadly, the ropeway and amusement park no longer exist.

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Vegetables with attitude

Otonamiya is a company that uses resin and clay to create an extensive range of goods, including the Kewpie Ramen figures featured above. It’s their remarkable harvest of carrots and radishes that really steals the showm though.

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Optimus Prime featuring Original PlayStation

If you’re a fan of the original PlayStation console and have a soft spot for Transformers toys, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Takara Tomy A.R.T.S is set to release this kit on 28 February. Standing at 19 centimetres (7.5 inches) tall and retailing for 10,800 yen (US$90.94), Optimus Prime folds up neatly into a replica original PlayStation console, complete with memory card and controller.

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Venus de Milo action figure

The Figma doll series, produced by Max Factory and distributed by Good Smile Company, has done more than just give this famous beauty arms, creating a fully poseable Aphrodite to keep artists and fans of classic sculpture entertained for centuries to come.

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There are some great gems to be unearthed at the Wonder Festival. With the next event scheduled to be held at the Makuhari Messe Convention Centre on Sunday 26 July 2015, we’ve still got some time to save up for our upcoming wondrous purchases!

A brief history of Hollywood trying — and mostly failing — to adapt anime

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A weird truth: Even in the midst of the current comic book gold-rush, major studios can’t seem to get a good anime or manga adaptation off the ground—although the influence of those works can be seen everywhere. This weekend’s Big Hero 6 is based on a Marvel comic that’s heavily (perhaps even problematically) inspired by anime and manga. As tangentially connected to the art form as Big Hero 6 is, could it be the harbinger of a sea change in Hollywood’s approach to manga and anime?

Tackling this question can be kind of tricky—after all, “anime” and “manga” are styles rather than the names of genres. While works that fall under those umbrella share a general visual language and similar approaches to storytelling, anime and manga tell all sorts of stories—slice of life, romance, mystery, supernatural thriller, action.

One of the reasons it took so long for American filmmakers to even begin considering adapting manga or anime is because of how long it took for the source material to even become popular stateside. The first anime to find success here weren’t the action-heavy, mind-bending sort that would become prominent in the boom years of the late ’80s and early ’90s, but much lighter fare like Speed Racer and Astro Boy in the ’60s and ’70s. But even during those boom years, anime adaptations usually didn’t fare well. For example:

The GuyverOne of the first notable anime adaptations to be made in the US, this 1991 film starred Mark Hamil and was based off the 1985 manga Bio Booster Armor Guyver, by Yoshiki Takaya. Both the film and manga centered on a young man who discovers The Guyver Unit, an alien device that spawns a sort of biological super-suit that an unwitting young man bonds with in order to fight an evil megacorporation (and also alien monsters). The film was panned both for being B-movie cheese and also for straying from the source material’s far darker, more violent story.

A direct-to-video sequel, Guyver: Dark Hero would stay closer to the manga’s more violent roots, but the rubber-suited aliens still left a lot to be desired when compared to the manga’s anime adaptation.

Street Fighter: While not technically based on an anime or manga, Capcom’s legendary fighting game would go on to inspire plenty of adaptations—including the notorious 1994 Jean Claude Van Damme film. There are many reasons why this did not go well, but at least people saw it—unlike the 2009 reboot, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, which you’re probably remembering for the first time right now.

Fist of the North Star: Another hyper-violent action anime received an unfaithful adaptation that doubled as a really bad movie. Here’s clip from that movie. It is very bad. Unless it’s after 2 A.M., and you’re looking for this sort of thing. Then I suppose it’s great.

The MatrixWhile, again, not technically based on an anime or manga, The Matrix represents a watershed moment in how Hollywood looked at anime. According to producer Joel Silver, the Wachowskis pitched him the film by showing him an anime film (according to Wikipedia, it was Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 classic Ghost in the Shell), saying “We want to do that for real.” The 1999 film, with its mix of philosophical science fiction and stunning action scenes, is the closest a major Hollywood release had ever gotten to faithfully depicting the medium of anime. Incidentally, while a large number of anime adaptations would enter development in the intervening years, none would make it to the big screen until the Wachowskis’ next directorial effort, five years after 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions.

The debt that the film franchise owed to anime would be acknowledged in the direct-to-video release The Animatrix, an anime anthology of short stories set in the film’s world.

Stronger: Kanye West’s music video for his hit 2007 single heavily references Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark 1980s anime film/manga series Akira. Let’s talk a little bit about Akira. Both the manga and the film adaptation are pinnacles of their respective mediums, cyberpunk masterworks that use their dystopian futures to explore deep philosophical and societal quandaries. Critically acclaimed in the U.S., Akira is largely responsible for popularizing anime and manga stateside. A Hollywood film adaptation has been in development hell since at least 2002—the last update came in February of 2014—but don’t hold your breath for it. It’s quite likely that Kanye’s music video is the closest we’ll get to an American adaptation—and maybe that’s a good thing.

Speed Racer: While it was poorly received at the time, the Wachowski’s Speed Racer succeeds by being exactly what it set out to be—a bright, colorful adventure for kids. Which, in turn, makes it exactly like its source material. Unfortunately, the film’s poor critical reception and box office performance very likely served to further stigmatize anime adaptations to big studios.

Dragon Ball: Evolution: Akira Toriyama’s seminal manga Dragon Ball and the anime it inspired, was, along with Sailor Moon, an entire generation’s introduction to the medium. As such, the series is pretty sacrosanct in the eyes of fans—and even if it doesn’t hold up all that well, it retained a certain heart and charm that never really gets old. The film that came out in 2009 had none of these things.

Pacific Rim: Like The Matrix, Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 blockbuster isn’t an adaptation of any particular manga or anime. Instead, it’s a Western take on giant mecha-action epics like Gundam. While it’s a pretty straightforward bit of sci-fi action, it is very, very good at what it does—and perhaps clears the way for the genre’s stranger, more complex fare like Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Oldboy: Spike Lee’s 2013 revenge thriller is an unfortunate case of Hollywood’s inability to leave well enough alone. Originally a 1996 manga by Goron Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, the story already received an acclaimed film adaptation in 2003 by South Korean director Park Chan-wook—one that’s far preferable to the American version. Which is a shame, because the U.S. cast is pretty stellar.

Edge of Tomorrow: Although it received really good reviews, Edge of Tomorrow didn’t perform so well in the box office. Perhaps if it kept the name of the manga it was based on — Hiroshi Sakurazaka and Yoshitoshi Abe’s All You Need Is Kill—it would’ve been more more memorable to those watching the trailers. But as the latest Hollywood effort in manga/anime adaptation, it’s quite the hopeful note to end on.

[UPDATE — As some readers have pointed out, All You Need Is Kill was originally a novel. The manga adaptation, by Ryusuke Takeuchi and Takeshi Obata, came out roughly at the same time as the film.]

While this list is pretty spare, it doesn’t include the wealth of optioned material languishing in development hell or shelved for any number of years. James Cameron’sBattle Angel Alita is a great example—the director has the rights to make a movie, but won’t even start thinking about that until he’s done with the next ten Avatar films.

But if you’re not too jaded by the number of non-starters, it’s quite possible that we’re now on the cusp of a new wave of quality Hollywood films based on anime and manga. With the previously-noted critical success of Edge of Tomorrow and reports of Scarlett Johanssen signing up for the lead role in Ghost in the Shell, it looks like Hollywood is finally ready to start looking at comic books that weren’t made in America for inspiration. If they do, then movie theaters will doubtless become a stranger—and more interesting—place.

Rock band KISS collaborating with Sailor Moon Crystal’s Momoiro Clover Z

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RocketNews 24/Anime News Network:

The U.S. rock band KISS is no stranger to merchandise collaborations with Japan, but the masked glam rock band is marking its first time working with a Japanese musical artist with a new single next year. KISS and the Japanese pop idol group Momoiro Clover Z are set to release a new single together on January 28, 2015.

The first announced track is “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina,” composed by Paul Stanley and Greg Collins, with lyrics written by Yuho Iwasato. Momoiro Clover Z are performing the song with KISS providing background vocals and instruments. It will be released in two versions via iTunes in 120 countries. A music video with both bands was already shot in Las Vegas.

KISS is releasing their own new song titled “Samurai Son” on the band’s “Best of KISS 40″ CD and the KISS version of the “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina” single. KISS will launch their 40th anniversary tour with Momoiro Clover Z, performing with the band at their last stop at the Tokyo Dome.

KISS first announced they were working with Momoiro Clover Z last month.

 

Momoiro Clover Z previously performed themes for the Pokémon anime series, Bodacious Space Pirates, and Joshiraku before rising to prominence as the singers behind the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal anime series.

Just bought an iPhone 6? Keep it safe and stylish with a Sailor Moon case

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RocketNews 24:

 

Last month, Japan was part of the first round of the iPhone 6 release, and we were as psyched as anyone. However, now that the excitement has died down, a sobering problem is sinking in for early adopters around the world: Their iPhone 5 cases are suddenly obsolete.

So if you’re on the lookout for a way to keep your iPhone 6 safe, why not hand the task off to a team that’s been protecting the earth for the last 23 years with a Sailor Moon case.

The titular protagonist and her team of celestial-themed magical girls have gone by a variety of names over the years, such as the Sailor Senshi and Sailor Scouts. You could also make a case for Sailor Soldiers or Sailor Guardians, whether you’re going by the proper linguistic or prettied-up official translation for the Japanese word senshi.

One term we haven’t seen before is Sailor Sisters, but that’s the name featured prominently on Premium Bandai’s webpage for the stained glass-style cases.

 

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While Sailor Moon herself is the star of the series, many fans claim a different member of the ensemble cast as their favorite. In addition to the mother and daughter team ofSailors Moon and Chibi Moon, you can outfit your smartphone with illustrations of Inner Senshi Sailors Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.

 

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If you’re hard-core enough that you’ve followed the anime all the way up to its Sailor Moon R and S seasons, you’ll be happy to know that the Outer Senshi, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn, are here as well.

 

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If you prefer capes and roses to pleats and ribbons, you can get a case bearing the likeness of Tuxedo Mask. Or, if regality is more your thing, the last of the 12 cases features Queen Serenity, the second alter ego of series’ lead Usagi Tsukino.

 

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Each case is priced at 2,160 yen (US$20) and can be ordered here. And if you haven’t yet upgraded to the latest model of Apple’s smartphone (possibly because you’d rather spend your cash on anime and manga than personal electronics), Bandai is also offering iPhone 5 and 5s versions here.

The iPhone 5 cases are scheduled to ship in December, and those for the iPhone 6 a month later.